Bellevue outdoor dining originally launched at start of pandemic to return for third summer

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Though COVID-19 restrictions have dwindled, outdoor dining in Bellevue has not.

Like other Seattle-area cities, outdoor dining was introduced in the Old Bellevue area to help restaurants stay in business amid COVID-19 indoor dining restrictions.

Since then, Bellevue’s al fresco dining spots have become popular, especially as a place for summer activity downtown.

As a result, the city launched its third season of dedicated outdoor dining space on Tuesday. The program will run through mid-September.

This year, in addition to outdoor dining setups in the parking lane at some restaurants along Main Street, more than 40 other restaurants across the city will have outdoor spaces on sidewalks and private property.

The city now plans to make the outdoor dining program a regular feature during the summer months. This year’s launch marks the start of a gradual change from “pandemic recovery to long-term outdoor dining operations and support,” the city said in a news release.